2. Conditions for residence permits for seasonal workers
2.1. Seasonal work or ordinary holidays
2.2. Labour market assessment: quota or individual assessment
2.2.1 Quota for the agriculture and forestry industry
2.2.2 Individual labour market assessment
2.3. The right to have several employers
2.4. Concrete offer of employment
2.5. Full-time employment
2.8. Age requirement
2.9. Return conditions
2.10 The good conduct requriement
3. The quarantine rule
4. The content and duration of the permit
5. Application and case-processing procedures
5.1. Where to submit applications
5.1.1. Main rule: the foreign national submits the application from his/her home country
5.1.2. Exceptions: right to apply for a residence permit from Norway
5.1.3. Exception: an employer can submit an application from Norway
5.3. Application form and other documentation
5.3.1. Application form, cf. Section 10-2 first paragraph of the Immigration Regulations
5.3.2. Other documentation
5.4. Power of decision
6. Reporting to the authorities and issuing of the residence card
8. Appealing a decision
9. Revocation of a residence permit
The circular concerns resident permits for foreign nationals who plan to work in a seasonal activity or in connection with ordinary holidays. A permit can be granted for up to six months.
The circular applies to nationals of countries outside the EU and EFTA area. Separate rules apply to nationals of EU and EFTA countries, cf. the Immigration Act chapter 13, cf. the Regulations chapter 19 and Circular 2011-037.
Pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 first paragraph first sentence, a seasonal work permit can only be granted to employees who do not meet the conditions for a permit for skilled workers pursuant to section 6-1. Applicants who have completed vocational training shall primarily be considered for a residence permit for skilled workers pursuant to the Immigration Act section 23, cf. the Regulations section 6-1. Reference is made to the circular on skilled workers, Circular 2014-018
By seasonal activity is meant a type of activity that by nature can only be carried out during a limited part of the year.
Seasonal work is particularly widespread in agriculture (e.g. planting, cultivating and harvesting vegetables, fruit and berries, and organised harvesting of moss and wild berries), and in the restaurant, forestry (with the exception of the final felling of timber), fish processing, horticulture and tourism industries. Odd jobs such as carpentry, painting and other maintenance and restoration work are not deemed to be seasonal work.
Work in the fish processing industry will be seasonal work if the fisheries can only take place during a limited part of the year. Work in the restaurant and tourism industry will be deemed to be seasonal if it is carried out during a period that is a high season for this industry (e.g. employment as a ski instructor at a winter sports centre).
It must be documented that the applicant is going to work in a seasonal activity. If there is doubt about whether an enterprise is seasonal, the immigration authorities can obtain a statement from the relevant industry organisation, if applicable.
In most enterprises, the ordinary holiday period will be within the main holiday period between 1 June and 30 September. However, a residence permit may also be given for other periods. The important factor is that the applicant will actually replace an employee during the holidays, and that this is substantiated. Working as a temp in a care institution when a permanent employee is on holiday is an example of employment in connection with ordinary holidays.
In the case of a first-time application, a labour market assessment must always be carried out to decide whether a seasonal work permit can be granted.
The Directorate of Labour and Welfare stipulates a quota for seasonal work in the agriculture and forestry industry, cf. the Regulations section 6-12 second paragraph.
Employees engaged in seasonal activities in the agricultural and forestry industry must in principle be covered by this quota, cf. section 6-12, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 second paragraph.
An individual labour marked assessment from NAV must be obtained if the quota is filled.
An individual labour market assessment will be carried out when:
- the quota for the agriculture and forestry industry has been filled,
- the application concerns work in other seasonal industries, or
- the application concerns work in connection with ordinary holidays.
An individual labour market assessment means that a permit may only be granted when the job cannot be filled by Norwegian labour or labour from the EEA or EFTA area, cf. the Regulations section 6-3 second paragraph.
It is the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service (NAV) that carries out the labour market assessment to decide whether a permit can be granted pursuant to guidelines issued by the Directorate of Labour and Welfare, cf. the Regulations section 6-12 first paragraph. It is a condition that NAV consents to the permit being granted.
It will be advantageous in terms of the processing time if such an assessment is enclosed with the application.
In connection with all applications for seasonal work or work in connection with holidays, the applicant or employer can always obtain a statement from the local NAV office prior to submitting the application.
The period for which the permit is granted can be divided between several permits to work for the same or different employers, so that, in total, the work corresponds to full-time employment, cf. the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph letter d), cf. the Regulations section 6-3 fourth paragraph.
As a rule, a staffing agency cannot be accepted as the responsible employer.
A specific offer of employment must have been made, cf. the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph letter d). The employer who has made an offer of employment to employees who are applying for a permit pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 is responsible for submitting the required information about the employment relationship using UDIs prescribed employment offer form: Offer of employment. We refer to the circular about offer of employment form, Circular 2013-006. The form must be signed by the employer and the applicant, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-9 first paragraph. The employment offer form (Offer of employment) is available on the UDI’s website, from the police and at the foreign service missions.
If the applicant has several employers, all the employers must present an offer of employment. It must be clear from the permit which employers the applicant will work for. If the foreign national wishes to change employers after the residence permit has been granted, he/she must submit a new application.
As a rule, the employment must concern full-time work, cf. the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph letter d). By full-time work is normally meant 37.5 hours per week. The breakdown of the working hours must otherwise comply with the provisions of the Working Environment Act.
Even though the applicant works for more than one employer, the total working hours shall not exceed full-time employment, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 fourth paragraph.
The pay and working conditions must not be poorer than those stipulated in the current collective agreement or pay scale for the industry in question. If no such collective agreement or pay scale exists, the pay and working conditions must not be poorer than is normal for the occupation and place concerned, cf. the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph letter b).
As a rule, only compensation in money is taken into account when considering whether the salary is in compliance with the requirements set in the Immigration Act.
However, if the employer uses other methods of calculating pay, for example piecework, this must be stated in the offer of employment. Pay based on piecework is only accepted if the applicant is guaranteed a minimum wage that corresponds to pay for full-time employment stipulated in the collective agreement. It must be stated in the offer of employment that the minimum wage is ensured, and this must also be specified in the decision. Reference is made to the circular about pay, Circular 2010-129.
The pay shall generally be stated as the gross hourly wage in Norwegian kroner.
Accommodation must be ensured, cf. the Immigration Act section 58. Accommodation is deemed to be ensured when the foreign national has the use of a house, apartment, bedsit etc. that satisfies official requirements. If the accommodation is rented, a written lease must be presented, approved by the landlord, housing cooperative or other party with right of use to the accommodation, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-12 first and second paragraphs.
It is a condition that the applicant has reached the age of 18, cf. the Immigration Act section 23 first paragraph letter a).
A residence permit as a seasonal worker pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 is a permit with limited duration and it does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit. This entails a clear requirement that the applicant must leave Norway when the permit expires. The probability of the applicant leaving Norway when the permit expires if he/she does not have other grounds for residence in Norway is therefore a key factor when assessing whether to grant him/her a residence permit. Both individual circumstances relating to the applicant and general conditions in the applicant’s home country will be important in this assessment. Moreover, the purpose of the applicant's stay must be in accordance with the permit applied for.
If, on the basis of information about the applicant and general experience of certain regions and groups of applicants, the immigration authorities deem it likely that the applicant will not return to his/her home country at the end of the stay and/or that he/she has a different reason for applying for a permit than to be a seasonal worker, the application will be rejected.
The assessment will be based on conditions that exist at the time of the decision. Importance will be attached to matters such as:
- whether the applicant has previously applied for asylum or a residence permit on other grounds
- previous experience of seasonal workers in the same situation from the applicant’s home country
- previous experience of any sponsors in Norway
- whether it is legally and practically possible to escort the applicant out of Norway.
We refer to UDIs practice on return conditions, PN 2013-004.
2.10. The good conduct requirement
Furthermore, an applicant who otherwise satisfies the conditions for a residence permit can be denied a permit if there are circumstances that constitute grounds for denying the applicant entry to or residence in Norway pursuant to other provisions of the Act, cf. the Immigration Act section 59.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) shall be consulted to clarify whether the applicant is registered in SIS with a view to denying entry. A residence permit will not be granted if the applicant is registered in SIS.
Employees who have held a permit for six months pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 can be granted a new permit pursuant to this provision after staying outside Norway for six months.
This rule also applies when the foreign national after the permit has expired, continues to reside in Norway on another type of permit for a period of six months or more. He/she can then not be granted a new permit pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 before he/she stays outside Norway for six months.
When a permit is granted repeatedly for periods of less than six months, the total period of stay in Norway cannot exceed six months during a twelve-month period, cf. the Regulations section 6-3 fifth paragraph.
In the case of applications for a new permit or renewal (if applicable), it will be necessary to carry out a concrete calculation in each individual case to decide whether a new permit can be granted. If the seasonal worker/holiday temp leaves Norway before the permit expires, as a rule, he or she cannot use the remaining part of the permit at a later date. However, we accept that the seasonal worker/holiday temp uses the remaining period at a later date provided that the applicant requests so and that the exit from Norway is documented, for example by a stamp in his/her passport.
The permit entitles the holder to work as a seasonal worker/holiday temp, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 sixth paragraph. The decision shall state the job title, and the name(s) and address(es) of the employer(s).
In all decisions, it must be specified that the permit does not entitle the holder to take other employment than that stipulated in the decision, and that the permit does not entitle the holder to work more than full-time. The decision must also state that the applicant shall be paid in accordance with the applicable collective agreement.
The applicant can be granted a permit for up to six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 first paragraph. However, the duration of the permit shall not exceed the period applied for or the duration of the employment relationship, cf. the Immigration Act section 60, cf. the Regulations section 10-16 fifth paragraph.
Seasonal variations make it difficult for employers to make an offer of employment for an exact period specifying a start date and end date for the employment relationship. When the applicant is abroad, the permit should be granted for the number of days, weeks or months that he/she has applied for and not for an exact period of time. This means that, if the applicant applies for a seasonal worker permit from 1 May to 1 July, the permit should be granted for two months without the dates being further specified.
The date for reporting to the police will be the starting date for calculating the duration of the permit. For persons who have applied from Norway, the duration the residence permit is calculated on the basis of the date of the decision, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-17 second paragraph.
A last possible date of entry must be stipulated in relation to the grounds for the permit. For permits given for seasonal activity, the earliest date of entry is two weeks prior to commencement of the employment and the final entry date shall be set no later than four weeks after commencement of the employment. As a rule, for permits given for holiday replacement the final date of entry is two weeks after commencement of the employment. This date must not be set later than six months after the date of the decision, unless special reasons indicate that an exception should be made, cf. the Regulations section 10-17 first paragraph.
The decision shall state whether the permit is renewable. The permit does not form the basis for a permanent residence permit, cf. the Regulations section 6-3 sixth paragraph, or for family immigration, cf. the Immigration Act section 49, cf. the Regulations section 9-6.
As a rule, a first-time residence permit must have been issued prior to the applicant’s entry into Norway, cf. the Immigration Act section 56 first paragraph. This means that the applicant must submit his/her application to a Norwegian foreign service mission (embassy/consulate) in his/her home country, or to a Norwegian foreign service mission in the country in which the applicant has held a residence permit for the past six months, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph. If the application is submitted from another country than the applicant’s home country, it must be documented that he/she has held a valid permit in that country for the last six months. The foreign service mission shall obtain information about the grounds for the applicant staying in the country in question, the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 third paragraph.
We refer to the circular 2013-018 regarding the submission of applications for residence permits and the consequences of not following the correct procedure – Immigration Regulations § 10-2.
Seasonal workers can submit applications from Norway, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-1 first paragraph letter c).
In order for the applicant to be entitled to submit an application from Norway, it is a condition that he/she has legal residence and that he/she is not staying in Norway in connection with an asylum application or pending departure after receiving a rejection of his/her asylum application, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-1 third paragraph.
Applications submitted from Norway must be submitted in person to the police in the district where the applicant lives, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-2 fifth paragraph.
We refer to the circular 2013-007 regarding UDIs practice of the provisions in the Immigration Act § 56 cf. the Immigration Regulations § 10-1.
An employer can submit an application for a residence permit on behalf of the seasonal worker, provided that the employer has been authorised in writing do to so, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 10-3 first paragraph and the Public Administration Act section 12.
The employer can submit the application from Norway via the police in the district where the employer has his/her registered address or via a service centre for foreign workers, cf. the Regulations section 10-3 third paragraph. It must be stated in the application where the applicant is staying.
To have an application for a residence permit processed, the applicant must pay a fee on submission of the application, cf. the Immigration Act section 89, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 17-10 first paragraph.
As a rule, applications for residence permits must be submitted online (Application Portal Norway). In exceptional cases, the UDI’s own form: ‘Application for a permit for residence or work’ can be used. The form is available on the UDI’s website, at the police and at the foreign service missions.
The body that receives the application must ensure that the applicant has filled in the relevant document list and submitted all the documents on the list. The applicant shall be given a stamped copy of the document list as a receipt for the submission of the documents.
The document list is available on the UDI website:
Seasonal workers – Documents you must submit when you apply for a residence permit
Official documents (diplomas, certificates etc.) must be presented in their original form to the police or the embassy/consulate, but should not be enclosed with the application. It is important that it is clearly stated that the police or embassy/consulate has seen the original document. A translation of the documents into Norwegian or English from an authorized translator should be enclosed with the application.
If there is no doubt about whether the conditions are met, the police can make a decision, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-1 first paragraph letter c), cf. the Immigration Act section 65.
There will always be doubt about whether the conditions are met when the employer submits applications on behalf of applicants subject to a visa requirement who are staying abroad. In such case, the police must send the case to the UDI, marked: ‘Seasonal residence permit to the UDI for PROCESSING.’
In other cases, the UDI decides whether to grant the application, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph.
Applicants subject to a visa requirement who live abroad can enter the country when their residence permits have been granted. The applicant must contact a Norwegian foreign service mission to have an entry visa sticker affixed before entry, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 3-13 first paragraph.
The applicant must report to the police in the district where he/she is going to work within seven days of entry, cf. the Immigration Act section 19 first paragraph, cf. the Regulations section 4-22. If the foreign national is going to work in several police districts, the duty to report applies to the first police district in which he/she is going to work. The police will order a residence card for the whole period for which a residence permit (or permits) has (have) been granted, both in their own district and other districts. We refer to the circular about residence card, circular 2012-011.
If the applicant has been granted several permits based on the condition that he/she must leave Norway in the period between permits, the applicant must contact the police as mentioned above after entering the realm again.
The permit will be renewed provided that the conditions for being granted a residence permit pursuant to the Immigration Regulations section 6-3 are still met, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 first paragraph. See Chapter 2 ‘Conditions for residence permits for seasonal workers’.
In connection with a renewal, however, a new labour market assessment need not be carried out, cf. the Immigration Act section 61 fourth paragraph.
As a rule, applications for renewal must be submitted online (Application Portal Norway). In exceptional cases, the UDI’s own form: ‘Application for a permit for residence or work’ can be used. The form is available on the UDI’s website www.udi.no, at the police and at the foreign service missions.
Applications for renewal are submitted to the police district in which the applicant lives. As a rule, the applicant is required to submit the application in person, cf. the Regulations section 10-27.
Renewal applications are also subject to a fee, cf. the Immigration Act section 89, cf. the Regulations section 17-10 first paragraph.
The police will make the decision if there is no doubt that the applicant meets the requirements for being granted a permanent residence permit, cf. the Immigration Regulations section 13-2, and they will order a residence card. If the police are in doubt or the conditions are not met, the case will be sent to the UDI for decision.
A rejection of an application for a residence permit as a seasonal worker can be appealed pursuant to the rules in the Public Administration Act chapter 6. The applicant must submit the appeal him/herself. Alternatively, the appeal can be submitted by a person who has been authorised by the applicant in writing to do so, cf. the Public Administration Act section 12.
The appeal must be submitted to the body that received the application, i.e. a Norwegian foreign service mission if the application was submitted from abroad, or the police if the application was submitted in Norway.
A residence permit as a seasonal worker can be revoked if the foreign national has deliberately provided incorrect information or omitted to provide information about matters of material importance to the decision or if it otherwise follows from general provisions of administrative law, cf. the Immigration Act section 63 first paragraph.
Decisions to revoke a permit are made by the UDI, cf. the Immigration Act section 65 first paragraph. The immigration authorities shall notify the applicant in advance that the permit may be revoked. The foreign national shall be given an opportunity to make a statement, normally within three weeks, cf. the Public Administration Act section 16.
Karl Erik Sjøholt
head of department
Contact: Department of Managed Migration, Section for Visa, Work and Study Permit